Seven Ways To Sell Based On Need
In a traditional sales approach, sales reps highlight the benefits of the products and services they offer. By taking a needs-based sales approach, sales reps focus on individual customers’ specific interests. According to Ben Taylor, content marketing manager at Richardson Sales Training, selling based on need is the way to establish fruitful, long-term relationships with clients.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Taylor’s seven ways to sell based on need.
1. Balance questions with insights. The path to the sale starts by understanding the customer’s needs with careful questioning. Developing this detailed picture is beneficial to the seller because it’s beneficial to the prospect. But all too often, sellers position solutions that aren’t a fit for the customer. Sellers need to ask questions. However, that process takes time, and asking too many can make a customer feel like they’re being interrogated. The solution? Offer insights along the way, suggests Taylor.
2. Build knowledge-based trust. While it’s true that more customers today are willing to engage sellers remotely, it’s also true that earning trust without in-person interactions is a challenge. Sellers can overcome this obstacle by developing knowledge-based trust: the process of building trust from actions that are consistent with words, says Taylor.
3. Keep it conversational and genuine. The process of building trust with a customer extends beyond establishing rapport with knowledge. You’ll need to be disarming, appear approachable and show you genuinely care about both what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to. Taylor says this means speaking with real enthusiasm and meaning what you say. In short, be casually compelling, open with your intentions and be authentic with your pitch.
4. Take ownership of the conversation. Dialogue is the key to the consultative style, according to Taylor. However, sellers still must guide the conversation. The customer must understand they’re partnering with someone who can guide them through the complexities of business challenges.
5. Let feedback guide the process. Taylor says that it’s important for the seller to carefully consider every piece of feedback. Be sure to take notes. And don’t be afraid to check with the customer that the solutions discussed meet their challenges. He says that asking for the customer’s perspective demonstrates the seller’s commitment to a collaborative, consultative sales process.
6. Research customer needs and offer relevant findings. Sellers must research the businesses and industries they're approaching in advance. Doing so equips the seller with the requisite base knowledge, allowing them to start with the most incisive questions first. By researching potential gaps and needs in advance, sellers can identify opportunities to create differentiated value, says Taylor.
7. Listen. Consultative selling is customer-centric, meaning the top priority is hearing what your prospects have to say. Give them some room to talk. Taylor encourages you to sympathize with your prospects. Let them know that their issues matter to you and that you have a vested interest in solving them.
As the sales landscape evolves, consider how you can shift towards needs-based selling.
Source: Ben Taylor is the content marketing manager at Richardson Sales Training. Taylor has covered content for brands including Nasdaq, Barclaycard and Business Insider.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers